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Public Funded Projects

 

National:

"Electrically-actuated porous materials for energy applications and sustainable tissue engineering technologies (ELECTRO-PORICS) - MAT2017-86357-C3"

European:

“Advanced integrative solutions to Corrosion problems beyond micro–scale: towards long-termdurability of miniaturized Biomedical, Electronic and Energy systems"

"Smart Electrodeposited Alloys for environmentally sustainable applications: from advanced protective coatings to micro/nano-robotic platforms"

"Merging nanoporous materials with energy-efficient spintronics" (SPIN-PORICS) - Consolidator Grant 2014, funded by the European Research Council

   
   
     
Private R&D Contracts
     
 

"Electrically-actuated porous materials for energy applications and sustainable tissue engineering technologies (ELECTRO-PORICS) - MAT2017-86357-C3"

ELECTRO-PORICS is a highly interdisciplinary project whose primary goal is to electrically actuate porous materials for three different types of applications: (i) to increase energy-efficiency in magnetic actuation, computation and writing of magnetic information (by means of surface-induced magnetoelectric effects), (ii) to generate hydrogen by electrocatalysis and (iii) to perform tissue engineering (i.e., to promote cellular differentiation, gene expression) based on the electric stimulation of bone cells, muscles or neurones. The most suitable synthetic approaches will be selected as a function of the targeted pore size: sub-50 nm (e.g., electrodeposition from surfactant-containing electrolytes like block co-polymers, or selective dealloying), ranging from 100 nm to 500 nm (e.g., electrodeposition on colloidal crystal templates), and larger than 500 nm (using porogens). The materials under investigation will be mainly metallic alloys (Cu-Ni, Fe-P, Fe-Mn, Fe-Cu, Fe-Pt, Co-Pt, etc.), all of them potentially exhibiting, simultaneously, electrocatalytic and magnetoelectric properties. The project aims to integrate technological progress with the current energy efficiency, environmental and sustainability concerns, which constitute one of the major “Societal Challenges” listed in the Horizon 2020 Work Programme. Several disciplines (Physics, Electrochemistry, Engineering, Environmental Sciences and Biology) converge together in this proposal to provide a holistic approach to accomplish the Project’s goals. Efforts will be made to bridge the fundamental research activities of the Project to the industrial sector. The ongoing collaborations among the partners render a high-level, multifaceted scientific programme that ensures the success of ELECTRO-PORICS.

   
     
 

“Advanced integrative solutions to Corrosion problems beyond micro–scale: towards long-termdurability of miniaturized Biomedical, Electronic and Energy systems"

The Innovative Training Network mCBEEs is a joint venture between academy and industry embracing an interdisciplinary agenda focused on the assessment and solution of corrosion issues in small-scale components and aims at preparing the next generation of corrosion scientists by a dedicated training through research programme. Last decade has seen a significant growth in the use of miniaturized devices in many industrial sectors with electronics, telecommunications and biotechnology primarily benefitting to date. Device miniaturization is also currently impacting other front-line research and technology fields such as the energy storage and renewables, or the automotive industry. Indeed, micro- and nanoelectromechanical systems (MEMS and NEMS) and other small architectures are becoming increasingly ubiquitous as sensors, actuators, or structural and packaging element. However, important and very often overlooked issues in miniaturized devices are corrosion effects derived from the interplay among different materials, or from the combination of several manufacturing steps. These interactions can cause severe damage and failure to micro- and nanomachinery, thus affecting their performances even in the short term. It is imperative that any selected material employed in technological applications must be stable against corrosion. The ITN brings together 15 beneficiaries and 3 partners including 4 research institutes and 4 private companies belonging to 9 EU Member states, and to 2 associated states (Switzerland, Turkey). The Consortium complementarity will enable a high-level, multifaceted educational programme, where specials efforts will be done to bridge fundamental research with industrial applications.
     
     
 

“Smart Electrodeposited Alloys for environmentally sustainable applications: from advanced protective coatings to micro/nano-robotic platforms” (SELECTA)

SELECTA is a highly inter-disciplinary initiative which has the primary goal of training young researchers in the field of smart electrodeposited metallic alloys suitable for environmental / sustainable development applications. The Network encompasses the fabrication and in-depth characterization of: (i) innovative protective coatings, (ii) resilient micro/nano-electromechanical systems, and (iii) wirelessly actuated micro/nano-robotic platforms for cuttingedge environmental applications. The project will explore new types of electrodeposited alloys (based on Fe, Cu or Al; free from hazardous and scarce raw elements), with tunable structure (amorphous, nanocrystalline), morphology (dense, nanoporous) and geometry (films, micropillars, nanowires), to meet specific technological demands (high wear/corrosion resistance, superior magnetic properties or hydrophobicity).SELECTA aims to integrate technological progress with environmental sustainability concerns, which is one of the major “Societal Challenges” listed in the Horizon 2020 Work Programme. Several disciplines (Physics, Electrochemistry, Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Biology and Robotics) converge together to provide a holistic approach to accomplish the SELECTA goals. The project brings together 10 Beneficiaries and 7 Partner Organizations (including 5 private companies), belonging to 10 EU Member States (plus Switzerland and Serbia). Special efforts will be devoted to bridge fundamental science with commercialisation of the research outcome. The complementarities among partners will render a high-level, multi-faceted educational programme. World-class research will be combined with unique training opportunities in soft skills, such as career planning, dissemination, intellectual property rights, entrepreneurship or management. The Network aims to provide highly-qualified specialists able to face future professional challenges in either Academia or Industry in an independent manner.

       
   
 

"Merging nanoporous materials with energy-efficient spintronics" (SPIN-PORICS)

This Project aims to integrate engineered nanoporous materials into novel energy-efficient spintronic applications. Magnetic storage and magneto-electronic devices are conventionally controlled by means of magnetic fields (via electromagnetic induction) or using spin-polarized electric currents (spin-transfer torque). Both principles involve significant energy loss by heat dissipation (Joule effect). The replacement of electric current with electric field would drastically reduce the overall power consumption. Strain-mediated magneto-electric coupling in piezoelectric-magnetostrictive bilayers might appear a proper strategy to achieve this goal. However, this approach is not suitable in spintronics because of the clamping effects with the substrate, need of epitaxial interfaces and risk of fatigue-induced mechanical failure. The exciting possibility to control ferromagnetism of metals and semiconductors directly with electric field (without strain) has been recently reported, but most significant effects occur below 300 K and only in ultra-thin films or nanoparticles. This Project tackles the development of a new type of nanocomposite material, comprising an electrically conducting or semiconducting nanoporous layer filled with a suitable dielectric material, where the magnetic properties of the metal/semiconductor will be largely tuned at room temperature (RT) by simply applying a voltage, via electric charge accumulation. The porous layer will consist of specific alloys (Cu-Ni or Fe-Rh) or oxide diluted magnetic semiconductors, where surface magnetic properties have been recently reported to be sensitive to electric field at RT. Based on these new materials, three technological applications are envisaged: electrically-assisted magnetic recording, voltage-driven switching of magnetic random-access memories and spin field-effect transistors. The obtained results are likely to open new paradigms in the field of spintronics and could be of high economic transcendence.

 

     
     
 

Private R&D Contracts

“Optimization of metallic materials for the manufacture of structural rings” (contract with Acronimus and Gestamp-Linares S.A.)